Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why can a single note from a teacher

send me hiding into my bedroom, certain I'm failing my children?  Educationally, at least.  There are so many other ways I'm heroic in parenting. For example, I got up this morning.

If you're not a Lyme patient, you might not understand how that is heroic.  Let me explain. Before I open my eyes, waking slowly, I perform a body assessment of what is going wrong. Stomachache? no.  Backache? Probably. Too bad to raise head? Hmm... probably extra pain medicine this AM. The litany continues to my feet, which finally hit the ground and then walk down the hall to wake E and A, who are aligning their own daily symptom list. Not being very self aware yet, being 8 and 9.75 yrs respectively, they tell me that today they feel way too horrible to go to school.... every day.  And they're probably right, except I intend them to get an education, so I make them get up, even though they are far too groggy to stand, make them dress, drag myself towards my pain medicine and downstiars, make breakfast, etc, etc. 

So, our first ten minutes of every day is spent evaluating- can I get up?  Can I will myself TO get up?  Yes, and I will get up.  But I don't "feel like it."  And that's the difference between being temporarily sick and being permanently sick- you don't feel like it, and you quite possibly never will feel like it, but you're going to do it anyway.  That applies to pretty much everything.... waking, lunch, diapering and washing children, laundry, making dinner, brushing your teeth, taking a shower, sex, going to sleep at night , leaving the house, fulfilling callings and getting up for church.  You do it Anyway, because otherwise nothing, ever, will actually get done. 

And when you're the Mama, and the world revolves only as fast as you push it, you have to get going and get things done.

Which brings us to the note about how frustrated A's teacher gets when he is out of class and makes up work slowly over time, along with keeping up with his regular homework. They want him in AEP (our version of "gifted and talented") next year; he qualifies. But, his trickle in work is a problem.  She is always having to take our her grading book, he's always getting things updated, it so frustrating for her. "He has the capability to do his work more quickly, and keep caught up." ie- not living up to expectations.

I was really proud of myself.  I absolutely did not say, "Poor You. How hard this must be for You."  I apologized, instead, and got my son to finish his makeup work for the three days he missed last week with a sinus infection.

Which, in the end,  is good, as the makeup work is MY fault.  It's all my fault.  He's eight, and he's got neurological "issues," meaning if I can ge tthis herd of cats to do anything it's amazing, and I'm usually focused on his sister, who is awesome, and scattered, like her Mama.  A's focus involves Legos and scouts, in that order, nothing else.  So, it's my business to drive him onward to finish.

But I'm driving myself onward to finish, to actually put in a load of dishes in the dishwasher, to actually pick up the floor in a room.  And my driving circuits are therefore overloaded.  Don't get me started about taking a wikiwalk through something entertaining to keep my mind off the pain and sick, and how long that can distract...or the novels, or the naps involved.

I feel overwhelmed, even though he's technically caught up.  Lots of those I know, facing this illness in their children, would go to the most logical conclusion for a reasonably adept or educated parent- to homeschool the immune disabled children instead, killing two birds (the immune kids's exposure, and the capability to progress at a different pace) with one stone. But as a mother focused on waking up in the morning, and dealaying said process as long as possible, my kids would not be homeschooled... they would be unschooled and uneducated, except by PBS and NPR. In the end, they might get an unconventional education, but while my pre-illness self was a chalk drawing, craft doing, music and singing, dancing, cutting out puppets with pinking shears kind of mom-to-be, my post LD self is more ...we'll say laid back, but really, sick, exhausted, and lazy is the truth.  My kids would have no learning, and again, I would be responsible.

Wherein does the solution lie?  Much prayer will be upon this in the next few weeks....

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